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Thread: beginner road bike???

  1. #31

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    The friend of my g/f who was her coach has just called her and asked how I was doing. He currently has a bike costing somewhere close to 6k and he has many others as well. He said to let him check his shop and he may be able to find parts to put together a pretty nice bike.

    I am sure he knows what he is doing and I have plans to visit him so he can measure my fit and we will see how it goes. I am also going to a local shop this weekend to check into the lay-away program for making payments on a bike. We shall see how it goes and wish me luck.
    Sounds like you're in good hands

    What about an automatic shifter?

    The constant shifting would drive me nuts.
    The behavior of automatic shifters on bikes would drive you nuts too, I think Try one out, and see how well it handles an out-of-the-saddle sprint at 30mph/50kph or higher.

    I'll stick with my Ultegra 2x10 manual rig for performance road riding. What's wrong with being nuts, anyway?
    Last edited by mechBgon; 04-03-2008 at 10:09 PM.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    And swing by your local news stand and pick up the April edition of Bicycling magazine. Its the 2008 Buyers Guide and reviews 128 bikes from all different types of riding needs, and may help give you a nice overview of what you will be looking at in different categories as far as features and cost. Happy riding.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    After a long day of shopping I realized real quickly that all bike shops are not the same. The first shop I checked did not offer to fit me or even guess and quickly tried to sale me something I did not want.

    The second shop did try to fit me however all they did was to make me stand on a wall chart with a stick between my legs...moved the stick around a little and said '52". After showing me many expensive bikes I decided to try one last shop. It was almost closing time when I walked in however the owner was very helpful and stayed late to assist me. He told me just by looking I was not a 52 frame and actually put me on a bike held to a rack type thing. He watched me pedal and measured all of my joints and stuff and said I was a "54" frame

    I like the last shop the best as he seemed more exact and complete with measuring fit and actually tried to stay in my price range. He suggested a few bikes and I am researching the choices now. This shop also offers a payment or finance plan so I can put down a little and make a few payments while I ride my new bike. This option allows me to move up in cost a little however these are my first 3 choices I looked at. It is all latin to me so I am not sure the pros and cons of each bike but maybe others can give an opinion on these.....Links below

    The best deal so far is the Scott Speedster 30 that was 1200 I believe and on sale for 800.....I actually rode the Trek on the fitting rack thing and it was this model the last shop said was a good beginners bike and the closest to my 800 dollar request.....I like the look and colors of the Lamond series. So for any experienced riders out there help me choose the best of these three for a true beginner.

    http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/roa.../tourmalet.php

    http://scottusa.com/us_en/product/70/779/speedster_s30

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...d/1_series/12/
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  4. #34
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Also when it comes to fit all here seem to agree it is simply the most important thing for a customer to know. I do not know much about it however the first shop measured me in about 30 seconds and said 52 frame. The best shop took about 30 minutes watching me actually pedal a bike and took measurements of how I sat and rode. This shop said 54 frame and built my choices from there.

    If I was to go with the first shops advice and rode a 52 while I was actually needing a 54 would it be that different anyway. I am curious as to how much difference in comfort a 2 inch mistake could have. If there is that much difference I am very happy I checked other shops. Is it common for so called custom bike shops to make mistakes in fitting?
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  5. #35
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Of the three I'd probably go with the Scott Speedster by virtue of the 10-speed rear cluster. You'll be more likely to find a suitable ratio without jumping from one front chainring to another while still getting a very wide range. The only downside I'm seeing is that it has 34/50 chainrings in front. A 30/42/53 triple would be better. I have a 34/50 on one of my bikes. I find that the 50 is a little too high for normal riding given that my largest rear cog is 25 teeth. I can still take off from stoplights pretty quick, but only by virtue of my strong legs. I would imagine a beginner might want a lower first gear. I can get around the low-gear problem by running on the 34 tooth front chainring. However, the downside there is that I'm spinning out by the time I hit maybe 23 mph, a speed I often exceed. The Scott Speedster does have an 11-tooth rear cog though, so spinning out in the 34/11 combo wouldn't be a problem until around 25-26 mph. Unless your riding involves lots of downhills, you probably won't exceed this speed very often. A 42 tooth chainring is probably best for all around riding. You get a decent low gear but can also exceed 30 mph in top gear without spinning out. A 30/42/53 triple really gives you the best of all worlds. You can go super low on the 30-tooth chainring, and super fast of the 53-tooth one, while using the 42 for most riding.

    Also, note that all my talk of gearing is biased by my own personal preferences. Some people don't mind going between front chainrings often. I hate it. It's not as quick as shifting in back. Besides that, the front ratios are widely spaced. Jumping from one chainring to the other means you have to shift down one or two gears in back anyway. For example, when I'm spinning out in my 34/12 combo and jumping to the 50-tooth front chainring, I have to shift the rear to the 15 tooth cog to keep my cadence within a decent range. That's why I usually stick to one chainring. I'll use the small one first part of a ride to spin and warm up. After that I'll jump to the big one for the rest of the ride. It would be easier if I had a 42-tooth ring that I could just remain in all the time. Also, remember that all of my riding is on urban roads where I need to change gears constantly. You may not experience the issues I've outlined if you ride on relatively flat roads with little need to slow or stop. And a lot depends upon your riding style. Mine is basically powering out of stoplights quickly until 20 mph, creeping up a more few mph over the next block or two, and cruising until I need to slow or stop again. Unfortunately, it's hard to cruise steady around here for more than a few blocks at a time unless one rides late at night.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    As far as gears go I really have no idea as to what I would require or even like best. For some reason I have been more focused on weight of my choices however have found it hard to locate the total weight of many bikes I have seen online.

    I had many questions for the shops I visited and most all agreed that my height to weight ratio would be hardest for longer uphill climbs. I have great muscle density and strong legs however I assumed proper gearing and lighter weight would be my best solution for this problem.

    Seems as if the average weight of bikes in the 8oo to 1k range was about 20 lbs. Considering my weight of almost 200lbs would I really notice the difference between say an 18lb bike vs a 22lb bike on deep hill climbes? As a more stocky rider should I really be worrying about the lowest weight model?

    I was also a little lost when it came to parts or attatchments such as shifters,brakes, forks ...etc: Most all shops advised I could go for a lighter bike with less quality parts or an average bike with better parts for close to the same budget. As an average rider with weekend rides and no desire to race would I really need super fancy shifters and derailers or other stuff?

    Of all the bikes I looked at Trek suprised me the most as far as cost. With no experience Trek was the only name I recognized and I thought all Trek road bikes would surely be out of reach for me. I saw several in the 800 dollar range and many more jumping up to 1k or maybe 1200 dollars. I was also suprised to see many shops to allow financing a bike with no interest. I can afford to pay 200 per month and within half a year have a higher cost and quality bike paid for.

    I also had no idea as to proper fit and the details involved with obtaining this fit. The best shop I found actually measured the length of my leg bones while I sat on a bike machine thing and also used some type of sliding ruler to measure the angles of my arms while leaning over pedaling. They said this was a basic fit and would go much more in depth after I actually chose a bike....amazing and much more involved than simply hopping on a bike and riding with a few friends.

    So basically for me I guess an important question to ask is how important is the weight of a bike when choosing a model? What is a good weight for a bike in the 800 to say 1100 dollar range?
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  7. #37
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Gearing is important insofar as you'll be less fatigued if you can find a gear you're comfortable in. With more ratios it's more likely you will. Not so in the good old days of 3-speeds. Even the five-gear rear clusters on older 10-speeds often didn't let you find the right gear. They tried to do a 2:1 range (14-28 teeth) with only five gears. The result was that the gears were too widely spaced, especially on the high end. You can get away with a 15% or even 20% jump in ratios in your lower gears, but for your higher cruising gears 10% or so between gears is optimal. A ten-gear 11-25 rear cluster gives you all this, and even has a wider range than the older five-gear clusters.

    Regarding weight, let's put it this way-I'm maybe 30 pounds heavier than I was in my early 30s, and yes, I do notice that much weight, but mainly on the hills. For example, a hill I used to take at 17 mph now I can barely take at 13 mph, although to be fair probably 1 or 1.5 mph of that is due to poorer conditioning from riding less than I used. So once you factor out the difference in conditioning, we're talking at most a 3 mph difference on a fairly steep (about 4.5%) hill, or put another way, 30 pounds makes me about 18% slower on this hill. 4 pounds would make me less than 3% slower, or under half a mph, and only on a few of the steeper hills. So no, 4 pounds would hardly make any difference at all. You and the bike would weigh roughly 210 pounds give or take. 4 pounds is only 2% of this. On a really steep hill where you might only be going 8 or 10 mph 2% is not something even I would notice. On the level the extra weight will make zero difference. I'd say for the price range you're looking at 20 or 21 pounds if just fine. Weight in bikes is like speed in racing. You can get very light if you want but it'll cost you big time, and past a point there really isn't much advantage. The biggest gain really is going from a 30+ pound steel framed $99 department store bike to the ~20 pound $800-$1000 bikes that you're looking at. That's a noticable gain even for the casual rider. However, paying another $1000 to save perhaps 2 or 3 more pounds really isn't worth it unless you're in competition. Bike weight is probably more important for a lighter person. If you were a 4' 9" 80 pound female rather than a 5' 8" 190 pound male I might say 4 or 5 pounds would be fairly noticeable as it would be around 4% to 5% of the total weight. In your case, it will barely be noticeable, if at all. Besides that, in your price range it appears the variation in weight among different models is probably only 1 or 2 pounds. You won't notice that at all.

    As for shifters, the main difference between the high and low end stuff is probably durability, although the high-end parts might also function a little more smoothly. For your uses, or even mine, something like the Shimano 105 will do just fine. No need to go with anything better here. Note that you'll still have a way better shifting experience than you would back when I started nearly 30 years ago. Back then, all they had was friction shifters where you basically hunted for the right gear. Indexed shifters came along later. Eventually, you had ratchet-type shifters where you can just click to go up or down. The integrated brake-shifters on the bikes you linked to are the final evolution of this. I wish this stuff existed when I first started riding.

    Yes, it's amazing how much is involved properly fitting a bike. That being said, I never was, yet I've managed to do OK by adapting to whatever equipment I could afford, and adapting the equipment to me via small adjustments. However, this isn't something a beginner is likely to be comfortable doing.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Fit:
    I am so glad you found a bike shop that was willing to fit you out. Yes it is very very common for even experienced cyclist to be riding ill fitting bike. I used to work in a shop and hang out in shops alot and saw all sorts of things, like selling the wrong size bike because thats what was in stock. The most common issue is bikes too small. 54 is the seat tube length in cm not inches. Not every manufactures measure the same way so one brands 52 may be the same as another brands 54. Trek and the otehrs you mentioned ares measuring center to top. Some brands measure center to center. More important is effective top tube length and Head tube length. As a beginner rider you will want a shorter top tube and a longer headtube so you have a more comfortable reach to the bars. (these two things conflict when it comes to sizing) If your elbows are locked while riding the handlebars need to be raised and the stem shortened. The Lemond also has a stem with a greater angle. If you flip it over you will get higher bars than the other bikes. I notice the Lemond is also available in a womens model in your size. If its not pink you might want to try it out. It has a shorter toptube and slightly more relaxed geometry. That will make it more comfortable and more stable to ride.

    Weight:
    Don't worry about weight, you all always giving up something to get a lower weight, always money and usually durability too. Fit and ride is much more important. Most of the weight difference between say the Trek and the Lemond is the wheels. With your bulk you might want the stronger 32 spoke wheels of the Trek.

    Ride:
    Have you ridden the bikes? A good shop will set them up for you first including adjusting stem. (have them put it as high as possible) Also a good shop will let you go for a long ride. I have had a shop tell me to not come back for at least a half hour and bring the bike back muddy. (cross bike) Try to find some steep hills and tight curves. If you dare, try riding each no handed. Some bikes shimmy or will veer off course no handed. A good bike will track straight and easy no handed. (some experience required) If one of the bikes has a more comfortable seat than the other tell the bike shop guy, he will probably swap it out. Almost all bike shops have a bin of take off seats you can try as well. Saddle can weigh as little as 150g to a couple lbs. longe ride comfort is the most important thing here. Squishy saddles can be comfortable for short rides but the gel can squish up into your blood vessels and cause numbing on long rides.

    Gears:
    Is Alabama hilly? I would recommend the bike with the tripple crank. 9 or 10 speed doesn't matter in practical usage. The 10 speed stuff is less durable and more expensive to replace. I would go with the 9.

    Money:
    Lemond is owned by the Trek company. Expect similar pricing. If one bike is on sale (last years model) and the other isn't, the sale bike is probably the better value. Save some money for Pedals, new stem (shorter and higher), water bottles and cages, and a new saddle. You will also need helmet, gloves, 2 pr riding shorts, pump, toolkit, shoes, etc.

    Pedals
    If it doesn't come with pedals DON'T buy road clipless pedals and shoes. If you go clipless (click in like ski bindings) get some mountain bike pedals and shoes with a recessed cleat you can walk in. You will thank me for this advice.
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  9. #39
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    1) Buy a bike computer. This is the only way you're going to be able to accurately gauge your progress. When you cover x miles over the same route faster than the week before you'll know you're getting in better cycling condition.
    Can you recommend a couple good bike computers and where to get them? I'd like to get one for a mountain bike but don't know anything about them.

    Ideally it would be under $50, wireless, and have a big display. I don't need a heart rate monitor.
    Last edited by 9volt; 04-06-2008 at 08:55 AM.


  10. #40

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by 9volt View Post
    Can you recommend a couple good bike computers and where to get them? I'd like to get one for a mountain bike but don't know anything about them.

    Ideally it would be under $50, wireless, and have a big display. I don't need a heart rate monitor.
    If you can live without Average Speed, check out this one: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...nd%3A%20Cateye Cateye's displays aren't the biggest ones you'll find, but the flip side is they have excellent durability and reliability, unlike Some Brands Of Wireless Computers I Could Name


    Robocop, I took a peek at the three bikes you linked and the Scott looks most attractive to me.

    What is a good weight for a bike in the 800 to say 1100 dollar range?
    About 20-21 pounds is typical. I agree with the other guys, don't focus too much on bike weight per se.

    If you do want to save weight, wear out the original tires and then upgrade to light tires and tubes, because rotating weight at the edge of the wheel must be accelerated rotationally, not just linearly, making it the most important place to cut weight on a road bike.

    An example of a decent light tire: Continental Grand Prix 4-Season which is a higher-mileage variant of the Grand Prix 4000 with additional puncture resistance. I'd recommend the 700 x 25 size (25 is the nominal width in millimeters) for your size & weight, because the slightly larger size reduces your chance of a pinch flat if you hit a pothole or whatnot. I use 25's myself and I'm only 160lbs. Continental and other companies also make extra-light inner tubes in the 70-gram range which are quite reliable, such as Conti's Race 700 Light or Specialized's Turbo Ultralight tubes.

    In the big picture, however, don't expect radical changes in performance... this is simply the best place to start if you want to reduce bike weight. The process of riding enough to wear out the original-equipment tires will do far more for your speed than the tire upgrade at the end

    Oh, and top off your tire pressure before every ride. Normal seepage can lower your pressure enough to make you vulnerable to pinch flats.
    Last edited by mechBgon; 04-06-2008 at 11:34 AM.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    robo, cave dave is giving some very sound advice! in fact I'm agreeing with pretty much everything cave dave has posted.

    reason I was able to predict 52 - 54 cm earlier, we are both are aprox same size. like cave dave said, different mfg measure slightly different. so don't worry too much about difference between 52-54cm. seat hight from frame to saddle and frame reach from saddle to bars is the main difference. this can be adjusted by size of handle bar stem used.

    used to be when most high end bikes used cro-moly. bike sizes were more standardized. now days with fat aluminum tubes, molded carbon, round carbon and the like.... then throw in non traditional geometry. frame sizing can be confusing indeed.

    another vote for a triple front chain ring and mountain bike clipless pedals. I've been using Time mountain bike clipless for both road and trail for many years. yes you will want the recessed cleats.

    the guy that took time to measure bone sizes sounds like he knows what he's doing. a 20lb bike is really light! what you need to be concerned with is toughness of your wheels.

    you already know that your mass is heavier that most your height. so wheels is where the extra beating will take place. then factor in beginner bashing pot holes. until you get your road legs, you will be bashing some holes. no way around it

    after you get some miles under your belt, then you will automatically avoid holes and/or bunny hop over them at speed.

    again agreeing with cave dave. prefer 9sp over 10sp due to durability. some riders prefer 8sp over 9sp for same reason. these are rabid mountain bikers who bash their gears much harder than roadies.

    again... once you have shopped enough to find out what you will get for each price point. say all the $800 ranges bikes and $1200 range bikes. then try to find a deal on last years model $1200 range bike marked down to $800.

    in case you haven't noticed... long time bikers are tough shoppers

  12. #42
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by cy View Post
    robo, cave dave is giving some very sound advice! in fact I'm agreeing with pretty much everything cave dave has posted.
    Wow that almost never happens!

    I'm a dyed in the wool traditionalist. I run 7spd and 8spd bike that I can get parts for cheap! I still run friction shifters on two bikes because I can. (Its requires a learning curve but once you learn its no harder than shifting a manual transmission car)

    1/3 of the collection:
    http://home.att.net/~dejmtb/

    The latest bike craze among hard core cyclists are single speed Mtn and Fixed gear road bikes. I'm not quite there yet. But fixed can be incredible light, responsive, cheap and fun!
    Last edited by cave dave; 04-06-2008 at 07:24 PM.
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  13. #43
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Thanks again for all the sound advice and I have used it wisely in narrowing my choices. As for the 9 or 10 speed the riders I spoke to locally all agreed that 9 was the better choice. They said as a beginner I would really not notice the advantage of one extra gear most likely as the 9 had a good range for almost every situation.

    As of now the biggest decision is rather to buy the Scott that is on sale down from an original cost of 1200 down to 800 dollars. It seems to be the best deal however it is at the shop that seemed the least helpful to me. This shop has this brand mostly and I did not like the people nearly as nice as the shop that sales the Treks and Lemonds.

    Seems I would be more happy with the better shop and a another brand but they have fewer sale bikes. The good news for me is I have realized they have a payment option for good credit and I have a 785 credit score so I qualify. This greatly extends my options with the better shop however again I am trying to choose between a 800 dollar Trek cash deal and the payment option on a 1200 dollar higher quality Trek.....the newest development is my G/F was so impressed with the shop and staff she began talking to the salesman about trading in her bike. The man told us he may consider a better price if we bought 2 new bikes so this also helps me with my choices.

    This weekend is full for me however next weekend I have an appointment to actually ride a few of their choices. They said they would fit me up on a few models and let me decide from feel and fit as well as cost. This is why I would like to stay with this latest shop as they really seem to be interested in letting me buy something that I will really enjoy rather than making a sale on the highest cost item. The salesman himself even told me to ride the Scott bike at their competitor as he said it was a good deal and if I liked it to buy it. I simply told him they did not offer to fit me correct and seemed to wish to hurry me out the door....he smiled and said that is why they sale so many bikes because they have a different way of doing things.

    So after my ride I will let you know as to what I decide and if all goes well I will take a photo of me all dressed up in those tight spandex things, bright colored riding jersey, and goofy helmet atop my new bike...LOL
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    .... It seems to be the best deal however it is at the shop that seemed the least helpful to me...
    I think everything in life works that way. It is not Murphy's law, it is economics. Low quality staff and service are cheaper and they can pass that on to the consumer. I would actually suggest the cheaper Trek from the good dealer. A good shop is hard to find and if you get into the sport you will develop a relationship with the shop.

    My sigline over at market place is:

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some men cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only, are this man's lawful prey." – John Ruskin
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  15. #45

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Hi Robocop. Welcome to the world of cycling. I read this thread hoping that I could provide you with some help as I have been a bike shop employee for 10 years but Cave Dave has already dispensed with all of the good easy points to talk about without having you and the bikes you are looking at together in one spot. I will reinforce the fit point. It does not matter what bike you ride if it does not fit you. The only way to get a great fit is to have a seasoned fitter set up the bike for you in a trainer. The guy that spends a half hour or more with you has probably got it close to right. Don't be afraid to take the bikes out of the parking lot and spend 20 min. riding each one that you think you like only after they are set up correctly of course. Just a point of opinion. Someone who has not spent time with modern equipment probably has some preconceived notions of what is good and what is not. Don't be afraid of technology in bicycles. When completely worn out most modern drive trains work better brand new old stuff. Have fun!

  16. #46
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post

    I'm a dyed in the wool traditionalist. I run 7spd and 8spd bike that I can get parts for cheap! I still run friction shifters on two bikes because I can. (Its requires a learning curve but once you learn its no harder than shifting a manual transmission car)

    1/3 of the collection:
    http://home.att.net/~dejmtb/

    The latest bike craze among hard core cyclists are single speed Mtn and Fixed gear road bikes. I'm not quite there yet. But fixed can be incredible light, responsive, cheap and fun!
    hi Dave,

    Nice selection of Riv bikes! I've always been fond of the orange Rambou bikes.

    I'm pretty traditional too, possibly because most of my riding is commuting & utilitarian. Most of my bikes are 6 speed or fewer, but a couple are 7 or 8 speed. One has indexed bar-end shifters, but the rest are downtube friction shifters. Friction is fine for me; I'm used to how it works, and there's essentially no maintenance involved with it.

    My newest bike is a custom touring bike with S&S couplers for traveling. Lots of old parts on it, and a paint scheme that is based on an old Raleigh I used to have. This bike has 30k miles on it so far, and it's probably good for at least 30k more.
    http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/2005/cc...ekurt1005.html

    back to RoboCop.... I'm in agreement with the suggestions so far. Get a basic bike, and make sure it's set up right and durable/reliable. If possible, I'd stick with the bike shop that took the time to fit you well. A bike that doesn't fit right will always annoy you, and could be quite painful!

    Steve K.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    +

    Hi Robocop,

    Cycling is a blast!!

    ~ Couple of things:

    1. Have the proper saddle height. (slight bend in knee when pedal down)
    2. Get cycling shorts .
    Last edited by orbital; 04-07-2008 at 12:14 PM.

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Guys, do they ever put disc brakes on road bikes?
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    I am also new to cycling. Bought a cannondale caad9 5 (triple) (10 spd) a few weeks ago. Shimano 105 shifters/brakes, front derailleur and crankset and ultegra back. shimano rs10 wheels. Think it weighs in at 18.7 lbs. Got it for $1450 in Canada. So far I love cycling, its awesome. One heck of a good workout, especially for me who does not particularly like long distance running to keep fit for the job. A plus is the cycling will help in my efforts to get into the mountain bike unit.
    Last edited by springbok; 04-07-2008 at 08:44 PM.
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Well thus far the shop I liked the most has several selections however they are a little higher on prices. They do have financing so honestly I have at least narrowed my choice to one shop.

    At this shop they had a trainer set up to sit on and made sure to even put me on several actual bikes to see how I sat and rode. The owner is a thin little man of middle age with a heavy accent. He looks the part of a rider and seems to know his stuff however he had a way of making me feel very comfortable. At the other shops I was made to feel kind of ignorant or taken advantage of while this older man talked to me like one rider to another....even if I had no experience.

    The shop I like has Trek and Lemond and I believe Cannondale as well as many others but again they do not have the Scott brand so the sale bike is not an option here. Like I said I have an appointment to return and they plan to fit me on various brands in my price range....The shop I like is called Cahaba Cycles and they have several locations all within 30 miles of me. There is a link below for any who wish to look and give any suggestions on the brands they do carry....thanks again for all the help.

    http://cahabacycles.com/
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

  21. #51

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
    Guys, do they ever put disc brakes on road bikes?
    Yep. Check out the Kona Sutra and Trek Portland for a couple examples.

  22. #52
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by 9volt View Post
    Can you recommend a couple good bike computers and where to get them? I'd like to get one for a mountain bike but don't know anything about them.

    Ideally it would be under $50, wireless, and have a big display. I don't need a heart rate monitor.
    This one on eBay seems pretty nice. All the info in on the screen at the same time.

    Any reason you need wireless? The pitfall with wireless computers are that they drain batteries way faster that wired ones. And in general you get more bang for your buck with wired computers. You can get decent wired computers for under $10 these days. And the wire is usually thin, unobtrusive, and to me really not a big deal.

    The most important thing about bike computers is calibrating them. Almost all of them have some means of calibration based on wheel circumference. Sheldon Brown describes the procedure and various common types of calibration here. You can enter the numbers he suggests directly, or for better accuracy do a rollout test. Also note that most cyclocomputers these days read speed to the tenth of a mph or kph. If you want to be accurate to that level (not necessary but fun nonetheless) then you definitely need to do the rollout test.

    More fun with bike computers-I put a backlight in this one, and powered it via a small wire from the 4AA cells in my bike headlight (this is a computer from the early 1990s without tenths in the speed display):



    I did this one also:



    And the same thing with no backlight:


  23. #53
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    ...The shop I like has Trek and Lemond and I believe Cannondale as well as many others but again they do not have the Scott brand so the sale bike is not an option here. Like I said I have an appointment to return and they plan to fit me on various brands in my price range....The shop I like is called Cahaba Cycles and they have several locations all within 30 miles of me. There is a link below for any who wish to look and give any suggestions on the brands they do carry....thanks again for all the help.

    http://cahabacycles.com/
    +

    Consider this bike in black:

    http://cahabacycles.com/itemdetails....gId=39&id=7077

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...d/1_series/12/

    I was going to say get a bike with Compact cranks (I just switched my road bike to 50/36)
    Nevertheless, this Trek should get you there and back,...and then some!..

    ~Keep in mind 'Step In' pedals, it makes all the difference in the world.~

  24. #54
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    You mentioned using a payment plan to get a bike up to $1200, In which case I would strongly recommend the Trek 520. It is a much more versatile bike that can handle unpaved rail trails as well as all road riding outside of racing. It will be heavier but it is designed to be very sturdy so it can haul 60lbs of gear across the country. A good solid touring bike will also hold its value longer than the latest greatest wiz bang road racer.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  25. #55

    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    I was looking at an '08 Trek 520 myself as an all-around commuting & training bike to replace my venerable Cannondale touring bike. It's not what I'd pick to go riding with a pack of roadies, unless I were in top form and wanted to dish out extra humiliation to the guys with the sub-14-pound S-Works SL2s but for toughness and durability, it would be right on target. Add 700 x 28s and narrow fenders and you'll be out riding when a lot of guys stayed home.

    In my case, think I'll hold out for a custom Surly Long-Haul Trucker for that role, however

  26. #56
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    Ok I am going out of town for a few days and when I return I am planning on purchasing a new bike. I pretty much have narrowed down my choices to two bikes and maybe three however am going to decide after test rides and a few questions at the shop.

    One quick question.....Between the two bikes both have a model called a double and also a triple for just a little more. Is this triple in regards to the front crank having 3 sprockets rather than two? I assume this is why the double is called this due to 2 cranks up front.

    Also the only difference I can see between both brands is that both double versions are similiar in cost however one says the front crank is Bontrager 50/34 where the other has a 53/39. I also assume this is teeth on the front cranks so as a beginner would I notice any difference between these two cranks? What are the pros and cons of both cranks?. Seems like a big difference between the two bikes as far as cranks go so again I have no idea as to what those numbers mean for a rider. For both triple models the settings are identical at 50/39/30
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    You've received alot of very good info concerning road bikes and I wish you luck on your impending purchase.
    You've probably got pics and stats coming out of your ears by now and simply want to get the bloody bike and start riding. I completly understand.
    I want to throw in one little "wrinkle".
    mechBgon mentioned a Surly Long Haul Trucker and a good point is to be had here.
    At your age and weight I think that aluminum frames will "beat you to death". I'm about to get pummeled by roadies, I know! The Surly and other Touring type bikes can be had with a Cro-Moly frame. This type of frame is very rugged and much more pliable than aluminum. The down side is that it is heavier. A good touring bike can be an excellent choice for commuting or high mileage.
    If indeed, high mileage is a goal than I heartily recommend you check out some good Touring bikes.
    Good luck with whatever you decide and enjoy cycling.
    Cheers.

  28. #58
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    yup, you've got it right. A "double" refers to the 2 chainrings (bike lingo for the gears in front) on the crank in front and a triple has 3 chainrings and the numbers refer to the number of teeth on the gears which indicates their size. With the triple you will have a wider range of gears to choose from including some very low gears which are handy if there are a lot of long or steep hills in your area or if you plan to do a lot of loaded touring.

    The 50/34 is a "compact" crank/chainring. They've become popular recently because they offer a slightly wider gearing range including some lower ratios over a standard chainring (If you know the size of the sprockets in the rear you can easily do the math and compare them). They give you some of the utility of a triple but with the lighter weight and slightly smoother shifting of a double. It works fairly well once you consider that many triple setups have a few gear ratios that are close enough that they are practically identical plus there are some that should not be used due to the resulting chain deflection (in both doubles and triples). Also most folks don't use the really high ratios on a traditional double - I probably didn't use my 53x12 at all last season.

    If you're just getting started and there are a couple of hills in your area the 50/34 is worth considering, especially if you think you will be doing long rides. If there are mountains, get the triple

    oh, and I agree.. if you can afford to, go with the bike shop that is the most helpful and is willing to take the time to fit you properly. Their after sales service will probably be worth it in the long run.
    Last edited by PhotonAddict; 04-09-2008 at 12:14 AM.

  29. #59
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    I have a 50/34 compact crankset on one of my bikes. The only real downside is that using the big chainring barely gives me a low enough low and the small chainring doesn't give me a high enough high. Or to put in the numbers, my rear cluster on this bike is a 7 speed 12-26. The lowest gear I can get on the big chainring is 50x26. This is adequate for most hills I encounter and OK for starting from a dead stop, but it just doesn't give enough ooomph under 10 mph. On the other hand, using the small 34-tooth chainring gives great take off. However, a cadence higher than about 105 RPM starts to get a little uncomfortable for me on a continual basis. This effectively limits me to about 23-24 mph in this gear. Yes, I can burst to well over 30 mph in the 34x12 gear, but it's not something I'd like doing for more than a few seconds. And I *don't* like jumping between chainrings since it involves shifting both front and rear to get the next gear up or down. Therefore, I'm stuck with the compromises mentioned earlier. An intermediate chainring of 39 to 42 teeth would really be what I need for both good take-off and decent maximum speeds, but even I can live with the compromises of a compact crankset. The only thing I plan to do to mitigate the problems I mentioned will be to eventually get an 11-26 or 11-28 eight or nine speed cluster. 34x11 would take me to about 25-26 mph, adequate for 90% of my riding, especially since that bike is a steel-framed slug. It wouldn't bother me to occasionally have to jump to the big chainring when I either have a great tailwind or I'm blasting down a hill. Until I get the new cluster though, I do most of my riding on the big chainring, and just deal with a little less off the line acceleration.

    So overall, yes, I think compact cranksets are a pretty good idea. For most people they offer the best of both worlds. With a little tweaking of the rear cluster, even an experienced cyclist can live with them.

    Also most folks don't use the really high ratios on a traditional double - I probably didn't use my 53x12 at all last season.
    I know I rarely use the 52x12 on my Raleigh. The 42x12 is pretty decent for most riding. I'm rebuilding the Raleigh with brifters and an 11-26 ten speed cluster (also airless tires). 42x11 will get me all the way to ~32 mph at a comfortable, sustainable cadence. This is about as fast as I'm ever likely to go for any stretch of time over a few seconds. After all, I'm not exactly Lance Armstrong here. 52x11 is really strictly a long downhill gear, something I'll only jump to if it looks like I'll crack 45 mph. That rarely happens. The 42x11 will be fine for bursting at anything up to that speed.
    Last edited by jtr1962; 04-09-2008 at 01:44 AM.

  30. #60
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    Default Re: beginner road bike???

    After writing down all the specs and comparing I only see a few differences I do not understand......

    one bike has an alpha aluminum frame while the other has 6066 AC/DC aluminum and the 3rd one says alpha aluminum with caron stays. Between the two aluminum ones is there a huge advantage to one and also what does carbon stays imply?....is this a better set up with carbon stays? I dont even know what a stay is anyway...LOL

    Also not sure what a derailer is but these are also different between the three. One says the front derailer is Shimano Tiagra where the other says Shimano Sora? Also one says the rear derailer is Tiagra where the other says the rear derailer is Shimano 105?

    Thanks again for all the help and sorry for the confusion....I am trying to know all I can before spending so much on something I know nothing about.
    Is that an ARC in your pocket or are you just small like that?

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